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Perhaps there is no one in our society more despised and vilified than sex offenders, especially those who sexually violate young children. And during the past decade perhaps no particular subgroup of sex offender has been more despised than those who are Roman Catholic priests. We need to be attentive to the state-of-the-art facts, best practices, and create policies and procedures to keep those who might harm children away from children. To do otherwise is foolish and harmful. Yet strong opinions, advocacy, and hysteria sometimes gets more attention than actual evidence-based quality research and practice which is not ultimately in the best interest of child protection efforts. This brief paper reviews lessons learned in working with sex offending clerics within the Roman Catholic tradition.


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